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CPI Slams Centre For "Plundering" Citizens

Telangana CPI Secretary Ch Venkat Reddy today flayed the Centre for allegedly plundering the people of the state and the nation through the GST.
Hyderabad | 8th June 2021
Telangana CPI Secretary Chada Venkat Reddy today lambasted the Modi government at the Centre for allegedly plundering the people of the state and the nation of "thousands of crores of rupees" in taxes through the GST on Covid-19 vaccines and drugs, even at a time when the pandemic was causing "severe economic hardship, tears and food insecurity" to scores.

The party held a demonstration in front of the GST Bhavan at Basheerbagh under the auspices of the CPI Hyderabad District Council during which its rank and file demanded the abolition of the GST being levied on Covid-19 medicines and vaccines.

At the protest, CPI activists waved placards and chanted slogans asking that the GST the drugs and vaccines be abolished, the lives of the public be protected, and the health emergency be addressed.

Addressing the demonstrators as Chief Guest, Venkat Reddy questioned why 5% tax was being levied on vaccines, a 12% tax was being levied on Remdesivir and other anti-viral drugs, an 18% tax was being levied on other drugs and oxygen concentrators, an 18% tax was being levied on sanitisers, and a 28% one was being levied on ambulances.

He lamented that in many cases, entire families had been affected by Covid-19 and that the common people could not afford the high-cost drugs nor pay lakhs in medical bills incurred at private hospitals.

Reddy pointed out that scores of patients had been forced to sell off their properties for treatment and blamed the "arrogant and incompetent" rule of the Modi government at the Center for causing misery to millions of Indians.

"People have been badly hit by the pandemic. There is no way of controlling the spread entirely. And yet, there are not enough vaccines for anyone. Further, though there are no job opportunities, there has been no concern for the problems of farmers and workers. In the interest of the people, the GST rates on key medical items needed for the treatment of Covid 19, such as medicines, vaccines, oxygen concentrators and ventilators, need to be slashed immediately. The Centre must also organised unconditional free vaccination programs on a war footing at both government and private hospitals," he demanded.

National CPI executive member and former MP, Syed Aziz Pasha, said, "The Modi government has completely failed to control the pandemic. It is concerning to see that the Centre is displaying such an indifferent attitude during this time of crisis which has had serious health and socio-economic consequences. The government has been ignoring expert advice and has grossly neglected the need to increase the supply of medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccines. India is crippled by a political leadership that lacks sympathy for the common people struggling through these challenging times."

He questioned the failure to adequately supply vaccines and demanded the abolition of the GST on Covid-19 drugs and vaccines which, he claimed, was becoming a "heavy burden" on people.

CPI Hyderabad Secretary E T Narasimha said that despite knowing that the pandemic was spreading like wildfire across the country, both the Centre and the state governments had neglected to need to strengthen the public health system and had not made additional efforts to store medical oxygen and antiviral drugs. He added that people were now suffering from severe shortages of Covid-19 treatment supplies.

CPI Hyderabad executive members R Shankar Nayak, M Narasimha, S A Mannan and Nirlekanti Srikanth, national AISF Vice-President B Stalin, state AIYF General Secretary Marupaka Anil Kumar, CPI city leaders R Mallesh, Sheikh Nadeem, Arutla Rajkumar, S K Mahmood, and Ch Jangaiah also participated in the protest.
filed in:  Telangana, CPI, Chada Venkat Reddy, Narendra Modi, Coronavirus, Health, Healthcare, Epidemics, Vaccines, GST, Protests
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